BOONE — After battling backfield injuries throughout the 2017 season, the Mountaineers sustained another during spring practice over the weekend.
Daetrich Harrington, a rising sophomore running back, sustained a non-contact injury in App State’s practice on Saturday. Harrington announced Wednesday on Twitter that he had torn one of his ACLs.
App State coach Scott Satterfield said injuries are one of the reasons why the Mountaineers start spring practice so early. Satterfield said Harrington will have surgery within the next two weeks and then begin rehab in the hope that he can return at some point in the 2018 season.
“It is frustrating because in the springtime, especially for a guy like him, you are honing your skills,” Satterfield said. “He got so much better by the end of the season.
“But it is frustrating. It’s frustrating for him, but it’s part of the game.”
Because of injuries, Harrington went from a true freshman on the scout team to playing significant time by the end of last season. App State starting running back Jalin Moore fought through multiple injuries. Backup running back Terrence Upshaw tore his tricep muscle in October and missed the rest of the season. That forced Harrington and fellow freshman Marcus Williams Jr. into prominent roles.
Harrington had a shaky start.
He carried the ball three times against Coastal Carolina on Oct. 21.
He got 13 carries the next week against UMass, fumbling twice. His final turnover set up the Minutemen’s game-winning field goal in the second overtime.
Harrington recovered to provide solid production from then on. He rushed for 44 yards and his first collegiate touchdown against Georgia Southern.
He scored again — and had 118 yards rushing — in App State’s finale against Louisiana. Harrington had 72 yards in App State’s 34-0 Dollar General Bowl win against Toledo on Dec. 23.
Satterfield said that ACL injuries don’t require as much recovery time as they once did. Now, Satterfield said, he’s seen players return to the field from ACL tears after six months. He hopes that Harrington can make that kind of recovery. But if he can’t, Harrington is still eligible for a redshirt year.
Because of Harrington’s injury, Satterfield said D’Andre Hicks has switched from cornerback to running back. Hicks played quarterback at Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, Fla, and Satterfield likes the speed that Hicks provides.
While Harrington faces an obvious setback, the running back indicated in his Wednesday afternoon tweet that he’s trying to move on as quickly as possible.
“Found out I tore my ACL doing what I loved,” Harrington tweeted. “Through all the pain that comes along with this process, I promise I won’t fold & let this motivate me in a positive Way. Best believe I’m coming back 10 times harder. Thanks for the prayers/support in advance.”